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Posts tagged ‘Research’

Partner Spotlight: Two New Reports from The Democracy Collaborative

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The Democracy Collaborative released their latest report, Cities Building Community Wealth (November 2015) written by Executive Vice President and Senior Fellow Marjorie Kelly and Manager of Community Development Programs Sarah McKinley. The report profiles the work of local officials who have taken up the community wealth building approach to creating inclusive and sustainable economies. Already, this report has received favorable coverage from Forbes, the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Next Cityand YES! Magazine. The report will be the centerpiece of a convening involving mayors, directors of economic development, scholars and practitioners on January 29, 2016, co-hosted by the CUNY School of Law Community and Economic Development Clinic. Find out more about the convening here, and read the report here.

The Next System Project released a collection of essays by Co-Chair Gus Speth entitled Getting to the Next System: Guideposts on the way to a new political economy. This second report in the Next System Project research series outlines the nature of system change, pathways forward, and a vision for a new American Dream. Read more below. The Next System Project also published a poll, adapted from Getting to the Next System, that allows community groups and activists to assess how their work contributes to system change. In other Next System Project developments, co-chair Gar Alperovitz, in an article in Al Jazeera, notes local experiments around the country that draw from traditional socialism, but promote democratic ownership in a “radically decentralized, populist and very American form.” And on November 9, Gar participated in an online panel as part of New Economy Week. Download this report here.

What We’re Reading: 2015 Volunteering & Civic Life in America Report

Today, the annual Volunteering and Civic Life in America research was released by NCoC and the Corporation for National & Community Service.

Follow this link to view the full report.

The research shows that the overall rate of volunteering is slightly lower than the previous year, yet remains strong and stable. Volunteering expands across all generations with 62.6 million adults (25.4%) participating in such activities – contributing a total of 7.7 billion hours.
Key demographic findings from the report include:

  • Americans 35-44 years old had the highest volunteering rate (31.3%) followed by those 45-54 years old (29.4%). One in five of “Millennials”, or those of ages 16-31, (21.7%) volunteered.
  • Older generations contributed the highest average number of volunteer hours with those 65-74 years old providing 92 hours and those 75 and older providing 90 hours.
  • The volunteer rate among young adults (ages 18-24) attending college was 26.7%, nearly double the volunteer rate of young adults not attending college (13.5%). This gap reflects the important role of colleges and universities as catalysts for service, and challenges us to do more to engage more young people not attending college in service activities.

Other civic health indicators from the report found that two in three Americans (68.5%) have dinner with family or friends frequently. Meanwhile, three in four (75.7%) see or hear from friends and family at least a few times a week, and more than a third (36.3%) are involved in a school, civic, recreational, religious, or other organizations.

At this time of heightened unease, the civic health of our country and engagement of our citizens is particularly important. All sectors of society should redouble their efforts to promote greater connections among Americans. Our civic health is strongest when citizens engage with their neighbors and government.

New NCoC Report: Latinos Civic Health Index (2015)

In the 1980’s, Latinos were described as America’s sleeping giant.

Latinos Civic Health IndexOver these decades, Latinos have gradually increased their civic aptitude and today are influencing the country’s civic life. With the release of the National Conference on Citizenship’s (NCOC) Latinos Civic Health Indexwe now have an in-depth understanding of Latino civic engagement across a wide range of indicators.

The report finds that Latino youth are at the forefront of increasing civic engagement within their communities. While overall Latino civic participation rates are lower than the rest of the population, improved educational opportunities, English language proficiency, and a higher than average rate of social media usage create increased avenues for youth engagement.

Two particularly interesting findings are that young Latino Internet users use social networking sites at higher rates (80%) than non-Latino whites (70%) and African Americans (75%).  Additionally, lower income Latino youth are more likely than their higher income Latino counterparts to use social media.  Combined, these points offer new opportunities for civic organizations and governments to focus on social media as a way to increase engagement.

The report, which is available in English and Spanish, can be found here.

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